One-to-One: Make It Meaningful, Make It More Than One Student, One Device
After two decades implementing technology in schools, one thing that’s become clear is that there is no single correct model for one-to-one initiatives. And the reality is, the initiatives that fail to meet their desired outcomes weren’t clearly defined from the start. Unless, of course, the objective is merely to just put technology in the hands of students and hope that they will figure it out from there. That is a typical case of “a solution looking for a problem.” A one-to-one implementation is not about one student, one device.
One-to-one is about one teacher to one student. It’s about the number of times during the day a teacher has meaningful contact with a student whether it be a text type message, a comment exchange in Google Docs, or a face-to-face encounter. What technology has done is provide a means for creating extra time for a teacher to collaborate in a more meaningful way with each student, and that is the most powerful thing that an effective one-to-one program brings to the table.
In the early days of classroom technology integration – we saw the introduction of presentation enhancement technologies, such as:
These technologies, and the way they have been used, has been little more than the lower levels of the SAMR model – Enhancement of communication.
By using the SAMR model to examine current technology use, you may find that your investment in technology is either not producing the change in Instructional Practice, or that Professional Development is not providing the impetus to move up the model.
What does it take to move up the model?
I can tell you that buying newer better stuff doesn’t do it. Using an interactive white board to write on the board in front of the classroom is the lowest level of technology enhancement on the SAMR model.
It takes a new concept of instruction and collaboration. A new pedagogy. These practices must be communicated in a standardized format through Professional Development and training.
This simple assessment should help you determine the impact of your technology program – are we just doing the same thing in a new way? Or are we doing something new and creative that we never really could do before?
Focus your Professional Development on the integration of technology not on devices and equipment.
Standards, guidelines and procedures, regarding technology, and its use, is at the forefront of any school district’s challenges. Teachers, Administrators, and District Staff are constantly challenged with non-technical issues related to security and access control to the internet.
It is recommended that every district establish a standards, guidelines, and procedures, decision-making body. The district should establish a Technology Standards Committee and Technology Standards Board. The Technology Standards Committee should be a small representative group consisting of an instructional representative, a site administrative representative, a district technical representative and a district instructional representative.
The Technology Standards Committee will convene and develop district Technology standards and guidelines for submission to the Technology Standards Board. Potential standards, guidelines and procedures will be communicated to the Technology Standards Committee by the district Technology Advisory Committee and/or any other stakeholder department or individual. The Technology Standards Committee will review potential standards, guidelines and/or procedures, develop and document them as a formal Standard, Guideline or Procedure and submit it to the Technology Standards Board for acceptance.
The Technology Standards Board should consist of the Superintendent, and a majority the Assistant Superintendents. The Technology Standards Board should be convened formally as necessary to discuss and approve Technology Tech Standards.
Each education technology standard, guideline or procedure will consist of the following components:
- Title – Standard, Guideline or Procedure
- Baselines and/ Metrics
The following flowchart details the process for Education Technology Standards.